Category Archives: Knowing authors

In this category I will interview writers. How cool is that? we will know as much as they want to tell us. It is time do discover new authors.

Also, this is a way to know more about their lifes, their habits and their published books. This is a fantastic chance to discover new authors. As a result, they will tell us what and how they think. We will learn about their habits, tips and tricks.  I decided to create this category because there is a lot to learnd and a lot to share!

Maybe you will get inspired by their lifes, who knows?

If you are open minded and you want to discover new authors stay tuned to this category.

Bulletproof witch wallpaper

Knowing F.J. Blair

Hello Wottareaders! today we are interviewing F.J. Blair, author of Bulletproof Witch a Fantasy Western series. Yes, you heard well! this story has the usual western traits combined with magic and demons, what else you need?

Let’s know more about F..J Blair and his books:

The man

Who is F. James Blair, not the writer, the man. What can you tell us about you?

I suppose the fact that I never intended to write is a good place to start. I’m a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) by trade, and when I’m not busy with that I spend time with my family, or work to keep up my farm (with everything from an orchard to a chicken run), or go out for long, looong runs. In other words, I’ve got a fair bit on my plate as it is. Somehow I manage to balance everything, but it’s not always easy. Of course, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be much fun, either.

You live in Washington with your family. What do you love the most about your Country? Has your Country influenced your stories somehow?

Just to be pedantic, let me specify that I live in Eastern Washington, USA. There are essentially three “Washingtons” that people reference: Washington DC, Seattle, and Eastern Washington. Eastern is as far removed from Seattle as it is from DC. For one thing, most of it is a desert, which people don’t usually realize when they think of the constant rain that plagues Seattle. It’s also much more sparsely populated, with its largest urban center of Spokane only having about 250,000 people. Both of these facts are what attracted my wife and I to live here, since we have more space for our family, and actually can enjoy the warmer months of the year without constantly checking a weather forecast. We do get a lot of snow in the winter, but it’s a minor tradeoff.

The climate also played a major influence in my first book’s setting. Although I envisioned the area Temperance travels through to by more like northern Texas, I drew a lot of inspiration from the wilds and woods that surround our home here. Places where pine trees grow scraggly and separate from each other, where light green lichen clings to rocks, almost bleached dry in the summer air. There are stretches between the Cascade mountains and Spokane where you can stand and see all the way to the horizon, nothing but gray-brown grass stretching out as far as you can see. There’s so much beauty here, but it’s a stark kind of beauty, one that is all the more precious because of its transient nature.

Writers are such for different reasons, which was your thing that made you decide you wanted to become a professional writer?

Mostly, it was because one day I got an itch to tell a story, and the more I ignored it, the worse the feeling got. I fought that first story for almost three years, trying to gnaw away at the meaty surprises it had in store for me. Eventually I finished it, which was such a euphoric feeling that all I wanted was to do it again and again and again. I haven’t been able to stop since.

While that particular piece of writing has been shelved indefinitely, it taught me many valuable lessons, ones that I applied to the next project, the one that eventually became Bulletproof Witch. Hopefully one day I’ll learn enough that I can return to that story and do it justice.

Any non-book related hobbies you want to share with us?

I already mentioned the farming and the running, both of those keep me pretty occupied for what little free time my children allow me. The running is worth expanding on, I suppose. I read a book in college called “Ultramarathon Man”, by Dean Karnazes, and fell in love with the idea of running all day and night nonstop. I ended up running out of my dorm room in Ellensburg, and didn’t stop until I got to Yakima (about 30 miles away). I ended up pulling a calf muscle and had blisters covering the bottoms of both feet, but I’ve never felt more alive.

Since then I’ve done a number of long distance races, including the 100 mile 24 hour race Pine to Palm, which I proudly DNF’d (Did Not Finish), passing out somewhere around the 60 mile mark due to dehydration. It was a blast, and while I’ve had to dial back my miles in recent years, once my children are older I’m looking forward to getting back into the game.

One book, one movie, one song, one food, one sport and one videogame?

Oh man, so many things . . . let me try and break this down.

Book: “All The Pretty Horses” by Cormac McCarthy. It is the tale of an American boy who travels to Mexico and gets a job breaking wild stallions. More than any other book, this story is why I love westerns, although it is neither the usual time period or character typical to the genre. The story spoke to me on a level I’ve never experienced before, darn near broke me by the end of the telling.

Movie: I’d love to name some art house nouveau film with subtlety and meaning behind it, but if we’re being honest . . . “Scott Pilgrim vs the World”. It’s just ridiculous, entertaining, zany fun.

Song: “The Mariner’s Revenge” by the Decemberists. It tells a tale of revenge between two men who, at the start of the song, are trapped with each other inside of a whale. It’s almost an entire novel in itself wrapped up in a five minute song.

Food: Macaroni and Cheese. None of that box stuff, I make mine from scratch using around two pounds worth of five different cheeses, and it is absolutely divine. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of bacon to it for company, but for just the family I like it pure and unadulterated.

Sport: I . . . actually don’t watch any sports. I am into e-sports, particularly League of Legends, although I’ve fallen out of the habit of watching in the last year or two. Another sacrifice on the altar of progress.

Videogame: Subnautica, all the way. You basically play a survivor of a spaceship who crashlands on an ocean planet, and has to piece together everything he needs to survive and escape. I suffer from a rather bad case of Thalassophobia (fear of open water), so playing that game is both therapeutic and terrifying on a level that few other things are.

Your series, Bulletproof Witch, is a western fantasy series, what do you like the most about cowboys?

Aw man, do I only get to pick one thing? There are so many . . . probably the simplicity of their conflicts. In so much of fantasy, fight scenes tend to drag on, especially large battles describing one combat after another. Westerns are much more cut and dry. You might have two people facing off against each other, just staring for endless time calculating their opponent’s movements, but once the action starts it’s over almost before you have a chance to notice. Bullets fly, somebody dies, and that’s it.

The writer

I’d like to know about your first steps, the very first day you decided to become a professional writer, what made you do it?

Am I a professional? I certainly don’t feel like one. Semi-professional, maybe. Minor league, to be sure. What was the question again?

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, very lucid, realistic dreams. In August of 2015 I had a dream about a man wandering through a forest, carrying a baby in his arms. Even while the dream was going on, I started wondering about what I was seeing. Who was this man? Why did he have this baby? I could tell they were running from something, and the need to know what it was gnawed at me after I awoke. I think a day or two later I pulled out my laptop, created my first Google Doc, and started writing at a madcap pace, working to get all the thoughts that were suddenly exploding inside of my skull out of it as quick as possible.

That’s basically been my problem ever since: if I go too long without writing, the stories inside my head start to build up pressure, and soon it gets to the point where I can’t even function until I write them down in some way.

Do you have any ritual for writing? any kind of habit or goals to achieve every day?

My weekday ritual is rather set in stone, mostly due to the time restraints of my other obligations than anything else. I have exactly one hour every night between when my children go to sleep and my wife and I turn in for the night. I use that time to get down as many words as I can. Even when I’m tired and just want to turn in early, I usually try to at least review pieces of writing, or add to the databases I maintain for my various story worlds.

Weekends are a little better, and sometimes, if all my other work is done and my kids are engaged elsewhere, I can get in almost an entire day of writing. I usually save such special occasions for when I’m nearing the end of a project and just want to push through to the end.

Do you take real people you know and put them in your stories?

I’m pretty sure every author does this, even if it’s only subconsciously. It’s hard not to let what you know influence your ideas. That said, I try to avoid doing anything blatant, usually just borrowing a personality trait or two, and obfuscating the rest.

If there’s anything in real life I draw heavily from my own experience, it’s horses. So many of the little personality quirks that I try and include are drawn from real life animals, or stories that my friends and family share with me. I’ve had a few people come up to me and talk about how much Astor reminds them of their own horse in one way or another. Little details like that are what make all the hard work of storytelling worthwhile.

What are you writing right now?

I just finished the first draft of book three, titled “Arkton At High Noon”, so after I finish cleaning it up and getting it to my beta readers, I’ll be launching straight into book 4, titled “Death Rides at Sunset”. After that I’ll be taking a year off from Bulletproof Witch to work on another SECRET project (not actually that secret, just another story I’ve been itching to get onto paper).

If you had to define yourself just using one sentence of your novels, which one would be?

“Life wasn’t fair, but everyone had to make the best of it, anyway.”

Which would you say was your best and your worst moments as a writer?

My worst moment usually comes around the time I’m hitting the halfway point on writing a book. By then I’m invested enough that I can’t turn back, but I still have so much to write that I can’t see the finish line. I start to spiral into self-loathing and doubt, questioning why I bother putting words on paper at all. At its worst, I’ll start going through other authors books, trying to find that “secret” that makes their writing so much better than my own. I usually break free of this bleak mood after a week or two, but I’m a physical and emotional mess until it passes.

In contrast, the best moment (so far) was when I gave my wife the preview copy of “Curse of the Daemon Beast”, and she saw the dedication to her at the front. My wife is more than just my best friend, she’s also my editor, and a writer with a following of her own. We try to be supportive of each other’s projects, so I really wanted to show her how important it was that she believed enough in my books to give so much of her own time and efforts to them.

The Books

Bulletproof Witch is a Fantasy Western, or a Weird Western, what do you think is the most appealing trait of this series?

Do you mean the most appealing trait to me, or what I think it might be to my readers? Because in speaking to the first few people who gave my book a chance, it became apparent rather quick that everyone was taking something different away from the story. Some liked it for the action, some for the magic system, and more than a few refer to it as “the talking horse story”.

Personally, I think the story’s most appealing trait is the evolution of its main character, which admittedly is just getting started. In the beginning, Temperance sort of sees the world in black and white. Her grandfather is this holier-than-thou figure who represents everything she wants to be, and she blames the rest of the country for his death as much as she does the daemon that killed him. Even in the first book, though, you start to see some cracks in this assumption. Peter shows her a side of the Federation she never really experienced before, and there are a few hints that her grandfather may not have been this perfect saint after all. I’m really looking forward to where this journey is going to take her.

This series’ main character, Temperance Whiteoak, is the granddaughter of a famous pistol warlock. Does Temperance shoot first and ask questions later?

It sort of seems that way at first, since the story jumps in when Temperance is already a somewhat experienced gunfighter. Each book shines a bit more light on both her past and the code of ethics that guides her, such as in the second book where she talks about how a Pistol Warlock is meant to save people, not to kill them.

Also, while Temperance has a creed that she adheres to, it doesn’t always lead her to make the right decisions. Everything she does is through the lens of her experiences so far, and as she evolves with each book, there are going to be more than a few beliefs that get challenged, or thrown out entirely. So I guess to answer your question- it depends if she has any questions worth asking, or if she just wants to make sure she stays on the right side of the dirt.

Your books include illustrations by artist Jin A. Lee, How did you come up with such fascinating idea of adding illustrations?

When I was younger, I loved reading a Japanese book series called “Vampire Hunter D”, about a half-human, half-vampire traveling through a post-apocalyptic world. These were the books that established a genre in Japan known as “light novels”, chapter books aimed at younger audiences that included artwork. The art in D though was beyond anything being done in the West at the time, and those drawing captivated me as much as the stories they accompanied. When I first started envisioning what I wanted the Bulletproof Witch novels to look like, I kept coming back to this light novel format.

F.J Blair shared with us some of the amazing illustrations included in his books:

The second book in the series, Curse of the Daemon Beast, was released quite recently (in May,2019), in this Temperance Whiteoak will have to track down Belial, a demon hiding in a remote mountain town, Shady Hollow. Sounds really interesting, in this second installment Temperance is playing more the role of a detective while at the same time

There’s definitely a detective aspect to the story, but it’s a very minor one. Temperance isn’t really solving a mystery so much as following a trail the daemon leaves behind. The whole thing is still pretty action heavy, but with the focus on only a single opponent, the story had to adapt with it.

Lots of Amazon reviews praise your series, congratulations! Here’s an interesting excerpt of one of the reviews I liked the most:

This was an excellently fun Western-style fantasy. My first note after beginning the book was “Wild, wild west with daemon-hunting witch and talking horse, love it already”. And I continued loving it throughout.

Would you say this is a good description of Bulletproof Witch?

Yep! Definitely one of my favorites. Although Wild, Wild West had a fair bit more technology than my story (at least for the moment. Buhahaha . . . .)

Bulletproof Witch is short for the Fantasy word count standards. By breaking this “rule” you made the story being more fast-paced and straight to the point, which somehow portraits better the setting of a western.

I never really set out do anything different with this story. When I started, I wrote the first book the exact length it felt like the story needed to be. I’m glad that it worked with the feel of this particular story, but I’m not opposed to having something lengthier or more involved in the later books. Case in point, book two is about twice the length of book one, and the third book will be as long as the first two combined.

Hopefully a longer book won’t lose the earlier story’s fast-paced action or western feel. I’m pretty confident though that they’ll be just as enjoyable as the first one.

Discover more on Wottaread.

Raelle Logan wallpaper

Knowing Raelle Logan

Hello, wottareaders! this week I am interviewing Raelle Logan, author of Blackheart, a historical pirate romance which is available on Amazon. Pirates, romance and history together, sounds great, isn’t it? Let’s know more about the author and her work then!

The woman

Who is Raelle Logan, not the writer, the woman. What can you tell us about you?

First of all, Raelle Logan is a pen name that is a dedication to my Dad, who was named Raymond. The Logan part is just a name I loved.  When not writing, I spend time with my husband, who is now disabled, and our cat, Ransom. I do have a “day job”, where I work with dogs and cats at a kennel. One day, I hope I’ll be able to give all my time to writing again.

Where are you from?

I presently live in Littleton, CO USA

What do you love the most about your country?

I love that I have the freedom and ability to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it; it’s great to have tons of choices.

Has your country influenced your stories somehow?

I don’t think my country has influenced my stories, mostly since I write about pirates and they are, in my books at least, based in England.

Writers are such for different reasons, which was your thing that made you decide you wanted to become a professional writer?

I was always an avid reader, and I think it was my Mom that influenced me the most. She worked at a library when I was a teen. One summer, she brought home a bunch of books so I would have something to do while out of school.  Some of the books were historical romance and those books were so fascinating that I got lost in those wondrous worlds. It was many years later that I wrote my first romance on a laptop that my husband was given for a donation to his car racing career.  After I wrote a few pages on the laptop, I found, to my absolute horror, that it wouldn’t save my work.  I went out and bought my first computer.

Any non-book related hobbies you want to share with us?

I collect angels.

One book, one movie, one song, one food, one sport, and one videogame?

I don’t have a favorite book but the author that influenced me the most would be Victoria Holt.  A couple movies are my favorites, Ladyhawke and Romancing the Stone. I have way too many favorite songs to choose from to make just one selection. I do listen to a lot of soundtracks from movies when writing. My favorite food would be anything chocolate. I’m not a huge sports fan but if I had to select one it would be NASCAR racing. I’ve never been a videogame girl, sorry gamers. I just don’t have time.

Your book, Blackheart, is a story about pirates, what do you like the most about pirates?

Their freedom to do whatever they wanted in a time period when most people were very limited on their freedoms.

The writer

I’d like to know about your first steps, the very first day you decided to become a professional writer, what made you do it?

I had written several manuscripts by this time, but, I didn’t really think about publishing a book because I truly just wanted to write for me.  It wasn’t until I wrote one particular book that I thought maybe it could be published (as yet I am working on the edit for this book, hopefully I’ll finish it this year). Once Blackheart came to me (I wrote it in one month), I thought I might try to publish the manuscript.  I looked for agents, got rejected. Looked for a publisher, really got rejected. I began to think it would never be published, but about that time, I decided to look into ebook publishers and that was when I found Books to Go Now, who is now my publisher.

What made you step in such an uncertain world as is the writing one?

I’m not sure. My Mom had told me years ago that you have to “know” someone to be traditionally published and that somehow sparked the desire in me to prove her wrong. I’m now traditionally published, and I didn’t know anyone in the business, so dreams can come true.

Do you have any ritual for writing? any kind of habit or goals to achieve every day?

No. I don’t write every day, unfortunately, as I have a day job that keeps me pretty busy.  Sadly, writing has had to take a back seat for now.  I work on manuscripts as I have free time.

Do you take real people you know and put them in your book?

Nope, as of this moment every character in my books is completely from my bizarre imagination. Maybe in the future that could change. We’ll see.

Which book are you writing right now?

I’m currently editing another pirate romance, only with a completely different story line and characters.

If you had to define yourself just using one sentence of your book, which one would be?

I can’t think of a sentence in Blackheart that would define me, however, I would like to be known as a Pirate Enchantress.  That’s pretty cool.

Which would you say was your best and your worst moments as a writer?

Best, obviously, would be being traditionally published and actually seeing my book in paperback form.  It was such an exciting moment…to know that a publisher actually believes enough in me to publish my work. What a great feeling! The worst would be the constant rejects I got from publishers and agents. It is crushing to be rejected.  You look at yourself and your work and wonder if you’ll ever be good enough to be published.  It’s something all authors suffer through.

The Book

Blackheart book cover

Blackheart, a historical romance set in the world of piracy. What else do you want to tell us about your book?

I absolutely love how this story came together. It was as if it was true, at least in my mind. The true history folded into the book just perfectly. It’s basically a ‘what if’ story, ‘what if’ King James II had an illegitimate daughter and his legitimate daughter’s husband, King William, begins a search for the illegitimate daughter, as she threatens his kingdom, for her ancestry proves her a menace. He must secretly hire a hunter and that is where Lochlanaire Blackheart, the pirate, comes into the picture, he’s the king’s huntsman.

Why would you say people love Lochlanaire Blackheart?

I think people can relate to Lochlanaire.  He’s a horridly broken, battered and beaten down soul, yet he rises up, becomes a strong pirate captain and does what he must to survive. He not only survives, he thrives and his courage grows with each step he takes. He stirs up the bravery to face his foes and defies a mighty king, all to save the woman he loves.

People love this book. Let’s just quote some of the many Amazon reviews for this novel: “intriguing”, “Defiantly a brilliant love story, and everything you want in a romance” “exciting and passionate”… these are some excerpts of diverse reviews on that website. Is there a specific review you feel the most proud of?

The fact that anyone reviews my book and loves it, warms my heart.  I love each person who has ever read the book and fallen in love with my characters enough to do a review.  To all my readers, thank you!!

Back to the pirates, were you influenced by any other pirate stories? Pirates of the Caribbean? pirate legends such as Black Beard or maybe folklore? On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers?

Honestly, I wanted to write a story that was more true to what the pirate truly is, not the legends that Hollywood has portrayed. I set out on the journey with all this in mind but then suddenly, I realized I didn’t know what the truth was about these mariners.  Off to the library and book stores, I went in search of research. That research took about a year.  I had to learn about ships, weapons, speech, clothing and then I had to apply all this research to the books I write and conjur a sizzling romance, a blend that is tough to write and write exceptionally.

Will this novel have a sequel?

I’m not sure. I’ve been asked that a lot but currently Blackheart is a stand-alone book. I might do something with Lochlanaire’s son but that’s far into the future.


Hope you enjoyed the interview, if you liked it you can check my previous interviews to Harmony Kent and Bernard Jan.

Discover more on  Wottaread.


Harmony Kent books

Knowing Harmony Kent

Hello there Wottareaders! today I present you another interview, after knowing Bernard Jan this week is the turn for Harmony kent. Multigenre writer, she will not rest until her books are listed on every genre ever existed. Why should she? right? No matter if you want to read a Romance, a Horror story or if you need to improve your writing, Harmony has it for you, is there anything she doesn’t want to write about? let’s find out 😁

The woman

Who is Harmony Kent, not the writer, the woman. What can you tell us about you?

She’s quirky. And funny. And an amputee with a wicked sense of humour. This is a woman who has led many different lives. … Load planner and then stock controller for a national brewery …Office worker at a corn and seed merchant … barmaid … nurse … Zen Buddhist monk … writer and author … It seems she’s as multi-genre as her writing! Also, every day, she learns something new. She’s all about supporting her fellow writers and authors as well as friends and acquaintances.

You not only write but you also…

Read, a lot. I love movies and series too. I do jigsaws, play games like Sudoku, Woody, and Spider. And I knit and crochet. I also love cruising. I went on my first ever cruise last year and am hooked. So much so, that my honeymoon this year will be spent on a cruise ship. I also meditate.

I see you are from England, what do you love the most about your country? Has your country influenced your stories somehow?

Given that we tend to write what we know, even if it’s disguised within a planet in settled space, say, or an underwater fantasy world, I would have to say that, yes, my country has influenced my stories. Especially the way I spell and punctuate, lol. English rules and conventions differ greatly from America, etc.

Mmm, what do I love the most? Well, that would have to be where I’m living now: Cornwall. No matter the weather, it’s beautiful. Okay, so on the thick-fog days, with what we call ‘mizzle’, I have to qualify that. I hate those days, and you can’t see a thing. The mizzle thing is a mix of rainy drizzle and mist and sums up the bad days quite nicely.

I have an as yet unpublished book called The Hunter that is based around where I live in south Cornwall. One day, I promise, it will see the light of day. It’s a gripping crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns and a great who-dun-it plot.

To sum up, I love living in rural places. Cities are just not my thing. And Cornwall provides plenty of isolated spots.

Writers are such for different reasons, which was your thing that made you decide you wanted to become a professional writer? As you say on your website, you were born as an author in 2013, what made you think “it’s time”?

I left the Buddhist temple at age forty, a relatively new amputee, with life to begin from scratch. After finding somewhere to live, I then had to find something to occupy my days.

Writing had always been a great love of mine, as was reading, and so, then and there, I decided I WOULD write that book. I sat down at my computer and started typing. Since that fateful day, I haven’t stopped.

Any hobbies you want to share with us?

Reading. Writing (Yes, I know, quite a surprise, eh?!?). Knitting. Drinking Whiskey (… um, does that count as a hobby?!?)

I.M Redwright: It should!

One book, one movie, one song, one food, one sport, and one videogame?

Nope. Can’t give you this one. Whenever I’m asked for a favourite this or that, I die. Literally, lol. The only answer I can ever give to this kind of question is … weeellllll, that all depends on what mood I’m in! … I’m sure you’ve all been there. Erm, I CAN answer one of them … just the one, though, and that would be the food question. Hands down, it’s pizza. If I didn’t have to watch my weight, I would be the pizza queen. Seriously, melt that cheese over juicy mushrooms and a barbeque sauce, and I’m your gal. I’d bathe in the stuff if I could!

The writer

You are a multigenre author, you have written books listed on the following genres: romantic, erotic, writing techniques, poetry, Zen, horror, fantasy fiction…that is impressive! any genre you will never write about? A Western maybe?

I’ve learned to never say never! My immediate response, which I wasn’t going to say out loud, was historical fiction. But then that does appear in Interludes in one of the longer short stories, so already I’ve contradicted myself. I prefer to say, wait and see! Who knows what will catch my imagination next?

I’d like to know about your first steps, the very first day you decided to become a professional writer, what made you do it? What made you step in such an uncertain world as is the writing one?

Since being old enough to hold a crayon, I wrote stories. However, lack of confidence and support led me down other, mundane, paths. Only when I had to begin life from scratch at forty did I actually sit and write a full novel with the aim of publishing it. After that, I actually learned the finer nuances of writing and publishing.

I was lucky, as my muse was in top form and full flight. Both The Battle for Brisingamen and The Glade flew from my brain/fingers smoothly and quickly. I think that might have been the first time in my life that I actually hit the ground running, despite being an amputee, lol.

Do you have any ritual for writing? any kind of habit or goals to achieve every day?

When I first started writing, I just sat and wrote … and wrote, and wrote, lol.

These days, I have a routine. I get through my emails and social media in a morning, with a much-needed cup of coffee, and then I open up my work in progress. I have a set deadline for it, as well as a planned word count, and from those, I work out my needed daily word count to help keep me on track. Of course, life happens, like me getting the flu last week, lol. That kind of messed up my schedule a bit, but I can always catch up later.

Is any of your books based on a true story?

No, they are all from inside my warped mind, lol. Finding Katie took a lot from teens I worked with while a nurse on a children’s psychiatric unit, but isn’t based on any one person or situation.

Do you take real people you know and put them in your books? Any specific you want to tell us about?

My book Backstage, an erotic romance published last year, while totally fictional with made up people, was inspired by the recent Hollywood scandals based around Harvey Weinstein. I don’t ever put a complete person I know in my books, but rather include an assortment of traits and make them into one character.

Which book are you writing right now?

A post-apocalyptic novel set in settled space. So, quite different to any of my previous ones. Its working title is Exxon 1, but I don’t yet know if I’ll keep that or change it. The story is all about a virus that gets released on the planet, and the despotic totalitarian leader willing to do anything to remain in power, and then there are those desperate to stop him.

If you had to define yourself just using one sentence of your books, which one would be?

“When we stop caring so much what people think, then we achieve a liberated and happy existence …”

[This comes from Jewel in the Mud, and best represents my approach to life and the hardest lesson I had to learn … Love myself no matter what. Until I grasped that, I could never write for other eyes to see.]

Which are your writing influences? Any authors you think were the most relevant?

Stephen King is right up there. Just like I’m a multi-genre writer, I’m also a multi-genre reader. From crime thrillers, to supernatural thrillers and horror, to romances, to YA, and fantasies, as well as sci-fi. I also love Tess Gerritsen and Jo Nesbo, also Anne McCaffrey and Guy Gavriel Kay.

I could go on for weeks about the many authors I know and love, lol.

Which would you say were your best and your worst moments as a writer?

They are one and the same: hitting that publish button … both the first ever time and every time after. It doesn’t matter how many books I write and publish, I always feel terrified when it’s time to go live.

The Books

Backstage book coverJewel in the mud

Not one, but two books published in 2018, Backstage and Jewel in the Mud, an erotic romance and Zen musing respectively. So different, tell us about them?

Zen musings was actually written over a whole year (2016) as a series of weekly blog posts, Monday Musings, and then eventually it became a book. The posts grew so popular that I wanted to make the lessons available to the wider public.

In complete contrast, I wrote Backstage in just 15 days, lol. It is centered loosely around the recent scandals to hit Hollywood, namely the Harvey Weinstein alleged buses, but—of course—is all total fiction and is based on made-up people. … And it’s a lot more fun!

Elemental EarthElemental Earth is a young adult novel, the first book of The Mysteries series. This is a story about Sarah a girl who doesn’t fit in, a feeling lot of teenagers would easily relate to, would you say this book can help teenagers, or maybe not only teenagers, to find themselves?

I would say it can help both teens and people of all ages find themselves and become their own unique person without the constant need to ‘fit in’.

Also, regarding Elemental Earth, people are waiting for the second book in this series, Air-Born, is there a release date you can give us?

Sadly, I can’t give you a date just yet, and I have to apologize for the long delay. I really do owe my lovely readers the next in the series.

Polish your prose book cover

Your book, Polish your prose, is a guide to teach essential techniques so you can edit your own book, what makes it different to other similar books? I see this book was written after all you learned.

This book doesn’t contain a lot of jargon or big words. Instead, it is written in a relaxed manner that any layman can understand. I know my eyes glaze over as soon as I hear the word ‘grammar’, lol.


The Battle For Brisingamen book cover

Your first book, The Battle For Brisingamen, has elves, dragons, dwarfs… fantasy genre at its finest, Will this book have a sequel?

No, I’m not planning a sequel to this one. But who knows … maybe one day…



Hope you enjoyed this interview, you can purchase all her books on Amazon. maybe Harmony Kent inspired you? just let us know in the comments!

Discover more on Wottaread.

Bernard Jan book covers

Knowing Bernard Jan

It’s time to know more about Bernard Jan:  Author, Novelist and Poet. In this interview, the Croatian writer Bernard Jan will tell us more about him, his life as a writer and his work in English. Bernard Jan already has two works published in English:  A World Without Color and Look for Me Under the Rainbow which you can purchase on Amazon.

Without further ado, let’s know more about him:

The man

Who is Bernard Jan, not the writer, the man. What can you tell us about you?

Bernard Jan is the pen name of one silly guy who likes to joke and play pranks on people he loves and is close to. 😀 I am also an animal advocate, an activist for animal rights and I hate any kind of injustice and violence, whether it is toward animals, humans or our planet. You could say I have deeply rooted green and animal and human rights characteristic in me.

Is writing your only profession or you have also another job?

Writing is more like a hobby and passion than a real profession. I am not a typical commercial writer who writes primarily to make money from his books (though it would be great I could haha). I write and publish in my free time and when I feel the need and desire to write while I work as an animal advocate which is also my passion.

You are from Croatia, what do you love the most about your country?

The beautiful nature and amazing sea. Even though the Adriatic is, like most other seas and oceans, overfished and soon will be dead if something doesn’t change fast, it is still very clean and very blue.

Any hobbies you want to share with us?

Hm, sure. Reading, reading, books, reading lol. Going to the movies, listening to music, roller-blading, ice-skating and sk8boarding (when I was 20 years younger). I used to have many hobbies in my teenage years (collecting records and CDs, movies, books, stamps, pins and what not) but now I am more oriented to collecting awesome people through my social platforms, meeting new friends and readers from all over the world. That’s how I‘ve met some amazing writers and authors too I would have never heard of otherwise.

Favorite book, movie, song, food, sport and videogame?

Ugh please, there is a bunch of them haha. It’s hard, very hard because each year gives birth to another amazing movie, a song or a book that thrills you and captures your attention or you fall in love with. But to give you an idea what I like to read, watch, listen to or eat, here is my “short” list.

Books: Anything by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, The Maze Runner series by James Dashner; Wool, Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey, Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, authors Eliot Peper, Davor Rostuhar, James J. Cudney, Jonathan Hill, Anne Rice, John Grisham, etc. I know I am not being fair to other authors I love and adore, but the list is just too big, and it goes on and on.

Movies: Titanic, Brokeback Mountain, Gone with the Wind, Hair, Call Me By Your Name, original Star Wars episodes, Billy Elliot and many more.

Songs: “Just Another Day” by Jon Secada, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, “Here with Me” by Dido, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia, “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, everything by ABBA, EMINEM, Linkin Park, Pet Shop Boys and Modern Talking! Again, the music doesn‘t stop playing here!

Food: Only vegan food and almost all of it. I prefer vegetables because I am not a big fan of fruits. Life without chocolate would be a torture, don’t you agree with me?!

Sports: I am not a sports person, but I give a big thumbs up to skateboarding, snowboarding, ice hockey, figure skating, skiing, athletics. I’m more into extreme sports.

Video games: No video games, have no interest in them.

The writer

Writers are such for different reasons, which was your thing that made you decide you wanted to become a professional writer? How long have you been writing?

My turning point when I started writing with the goal to be published happened at the beginning of the war in Croatia. Facing the possibility of imminent death makes you think about your life and what you want from it. Writing is the way I fought the oppression and injustice, not only during the war years in Croatia but also in general. I published my first book in Croatian in 1992 while my first attempt to be published in English was in 1998. I started to publish as an indie author in English in 2017.

I’d like to know about your first steps, the very first day you decided to become a professional writer, what made you do it? What made you step in such an uncertain world as is the writing one?

As mentioned earlier, it was not a planned thing. It came as a necessity. Out of the need to do something good in and for the world, to leave some kind of legacy to future generations should anyone want to know and read about it.

How did your family, relatives and friends react when you told them you wanted to be a writer? Did you feel supported? Who supported you the most?

They supported me one hundred percent. My parents were with me all the time and so were my friends who read my work and my cousin who was the first one who thought I was good enough to be published and who pushed me into these waters.

What are your writing habits? Do you have the so known Writer’s block? If so, how do you avoid it?

My writing habits are as bad as my eating habits haha. I do not have a writing plan and I do not write on a daily basis nor do I count how many words I write. I write only when I am inspired to write about something because writing is a passion. Everything is about passion and emotion. I write when I get in that special and deep emotional state and then it pours out of me. The words and the tears. Look for Me Under the Rainbow I wrote in about ten days, if I remember well, because it was a long time ago; A World Without Color I cried out in even shorter time.

Cruel Summer, the over-127,000-words-long novel I am yet to publish in English, I wrote in a little over six months, including research. It varies depending on the length of the book and how much research I need to make to collect the facts and mix them into my fictional world.

Do you have any ritual for writing? like a specific number of words per day, goals per month?

Nope. No ritual, no numbers. I just follow my guts, my inner feeling and a muse. I still believe in the inspiration, passion and the art of writing. That comes first. I don’t care how long it takes for a story to be born in me or how fast I deliver it as long as it has passion and emotion in it.

Do you take real people you know and put them in your books? Any specific you want to tell us about?

Yes, I do, but never in a way to compromise them, which means not completely accurate. My first book was an altered autobiography where I used some characteristics of my friends and parents to describe how we felt when the war broke out in Croatia. I also used my personal experience for one character in my future novel Cruel Summer and some Zagreb skateboarders as the skateboarders in New York while A World Without Color is a true story of the last three days I spent with my cat. It cannot be more authentic than it is.

Which book are you writing right now?

I am not writing anything now because I have three more books scheduled for publication in English. All of them are published in Croatian. They are two novels January River and Cruel Summer and a book of poetry Postcards from Beyond Reality.

If you had to define yourself as a writer just using one sentence of your book, which one would be?

Not sure what you mean, like a sentence I wrote in my book? Something like this from Look for Me Under the Rainbow perhaps?

I do not doubt I have a big heart and burning desire, but is that enough for a person to become a Rainbow Warrior, or is there something better?

Which are your writing influences? Any authors you think were the most relevant?

Every author with a beautiful writing style made me learn something. Even those whose writing sucks—let’s face it but there are such authors too—helped me learn how not to write. I like King’s phenomenal sense for detail, the fluency of Koontz’s writing and building suspense. Eliot Peper does amazing descriptions, and so on. I love when authors portray words and sentences and when they make me cry or guffaw, not when they only narrate what’s going Anyone can do that. But not anyone can make an art of writing.

The Books

Two books already published on Amazon, A World Without Color (this book has a nice trailer by the way) and Look for Me Under the Rainbow. Congratulations for that, you are on the way.

A world without color book cover

Let’s talk about A World Without Color, you describe this novel as “the last three days I spent with my cat” it is funny how such a simple description makes it actually intriguing, it makes you want to know more, is the story just about the man and his cat? No other characters?

Thanks! The original name of the book in Croatian is A World Without Color. The “last three days” part I added for Amazon to be catchy and more intriguing for readers to check out what happened in those last three days. Marcel and I are the main characters but my parents are also included a well as some other people like a veterinarian Saša and my friends who helped me deal with the loss. Since the story has a short time-span, not many people could be included in it except when I talk about the happy days we have had together.

I see this book has two endings, interesting, how does it work? The reader can choose which works best for him?

The readers can choose which one they like better and which one works for them. The first ending is how it really happened. How it ended. The second ending is the continuation of the original ending but in which I commit suicide. I thought a lot about committing suicide when I lost Marcel but didn’t have the courage to do it, so instead of throwing myself off the balcony, I wrote that story. In the book I went all the way, following my dark thoughts with hope to be reunited with my cat in some other parallel dimension. Even though I die in the second ending, it is the happier ending for me because we are together again. Everything in that new dimension is good and as it should be. As if none of us had died.

Look for me under the rainbowRegarding of Look for Me Under the Rainbow, this is a story that sheds light on the plight of baby seals in Canada hunted for their fur, what else can you tell us about this story?

Even though this book I market as a YA read, I recommend it to adults too. It is the message to and for everyone, for all of us to reflect on how we live and what we do to our planet: like killing of seal pups for their fur and skinning them alive, fishing with driftnets whilst also leaving them to float discarded in the oceans, the oil spills, etc. All that impacts the life on our planet, and we are responsible even if we ignore it. This story also teaches parents the importance of not lying to their children, never mind them being just kids and too small to understand, and how much each of us can do for our planet individually.

Look for Me Under the Rainbow is a story that opens our hearts and minds to goodness in us, giving us a nudge to act, to do something. The inspiration for writing Look for Me Under the Rainbow came from the Greenpeace materials I’ve received by post in the late 1980s. This story changed my life because it made me go vegetarian (and later on vegan). Writing it was an eye-opener, for I realized that the best way for me to help animals is not to eat them and not to support industries that kill them. Besides, if I wanted to change the world, it would be hypocritical of me not to change myself first. So I did it.

This book has a much more social awareness approach it seems, will you write more about protecting our planet?

There are so many ways we can do to protect our planet. Today it is easier than ever before.

Back then when I wrote Look for Me Under the Rainbow, the Internet was not yet so widespread and popular, the flow of information was old-school. Now we get everything in a blink of an eye. We can do so much by boycotting industries that kill our planet. Raising animals for food causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the forms of transportation combined. The best way any of us can do to protect our planet and life on it is to go vegan. It’s really not that difficult, once you make a decision.

There is a plentitude and a variety of awesome food which does not include animals and their products. If that is too big a step or challenge for someone, not supporting other industries which abuse and exploit animals like vivisection, fur farms, hunt or entertainment industry is also a start. By choosing what we wear, which household products and cosmetics we use, whether we visit zoos and circuses with animals or condemn or sabotage hunt, send letters to our politicians and companies, being a member of a street team of activists or spread the message by sharing and tweeting posts online, everything counts. We can do so much with some or little effort that there is no excuse for doing nothing. It is our world that is endangered. We don’t have another place we can go. We can choose a healthy and compassionate life on earth or self-destruction.

In Croatia, the novella Look for Me Under the Rainbow is listed in a program for elementary schools as a reading of choice for seventh graders, wow! How did this happen?

To be honest, I don’t know how it happened and if my publisher had to do something with it.

My guess is that someone in the right place liked it enough to recommend it and . . . bingo! I am happy and honored for that. Not because it is my book and I am proud of it but because of its educational message. This book changed me in many ways and my great wish is that it motivates and help others to change the way they look at our world and their lives, too. We are compassionate beings after all, and we know all about kindness. We just need to spread our circle of compassion, kindness and empathy, and embrace everyone in it. This is how we will save our world.

*The author wants to credit the book cover designer Mario Kozar MKM Media for such an amazing job with both of his books.

I hope his story inspired you! Discover more on Wottaread.